Government is moving ahead to commence the new school year on September 21st with a “blended” teaching approach being taken.
That’s according to Education Minister Santia Bradshaw who briefed the country on the ministry’s plan in a national address this evening.
She says the blended approach will involve online and face to face classes for this school term which ends on December 11th, totaling 12 weeks of school rather than the usual 14 weeks.
She also assured that the necessary COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place at schools across the island.
She also disclosed that the St. Giles Primary School is being extensively renovated and may not be ready for reopening until October.
Other key points of the Minister’s address
- Parents to be consulted on school reopening via the Parent Teacher Associations.
- Country to be regularly briefed on the protocols.
- Schools will finalize plans over the next few days.
- Some students may need to be pulled out for special attention due to possible difficulty completing the curriculum in a shortened term.
- Students and teachers will be required to wear facemasks, except in cases where they may have an illness and can not wear masks for long periods.
- Desks must be six feet apart for students.
- The Ministry of Education will provide students and teachers with facemasks. Face shields will also be provided where needed.
- Parents encouraged to pack lunch for students.
- Students will be provided with devices for online learning .
- Government procured around 20,000 devices from Kenya.
- Rural schools with transport issues to be given special attention.
- There is a plan to move toward a dedicated school bus service.
- Additional protocols being implemented for public transportation including increased cleaning.
- Special effort to get special needs children back to school with appropriate measures.
- There will be special training for all janitors across the school system to prepare for the enhanced cleaning required.
- There will be special protocols for physical education and music classes.
- Community centers and churches to be used to expand the school plant with additional cleaning and admin support for offsite classes.